Dio has a comprehensive range of extracurricular activities, arts and clubs. There are councils that range from a focus on the environment and service to organising key school events. In terms of the arts. there is a whole building dedicated to print, painting, carpentry and photography. As an art student myself, I found this invaluable and often spent my evening there long after school was over. There is also a huge amount of resources that are put toward acting, dance, music and school musicals. In general, if you’re interested in extracurriculars, Dio is going to cater to you extremely well. It’s well funded and very well resourced.
Leadership and volunteer opportunities
In terms of leadership opportunities, it’s also very good. There may be slightly fewer leadership roles than somewhere like AIC where the students who are building their CV’s for an international application and are fiercely competing for leadership roles; however, there are roles available for prefects, house captains, sports captains and council heads. You could also dabble in something like looking after junior school children in after school care.
Academic structure (curriculum / how are classes categorised/streamed)
There’s two curriculums offered at Dio, IB and NCEA. Most students do NCEA and the generally higher achieving students choose IB. In terms of streaming, the classes are randomly mixed, so no streaming (except it’s generally understood that higher performing students choose IB).
School tradition and culture
School culture is pretty strong in a number of ways. Firstly in a positive way, school spirit and support at athletics day or swimming sports is strong. People love dressing up and cheering their peers on. There are often impromptu school-wide competitions for who can cheer the loudest or sing their house chants the loudest at athletics days.
Social aspect / inclusivity
In terms of a general school culture, I’d say it’s pretty inclusive overall. However, there is a strong sense of cliques and peer pressure to own the latest designer things, shop at certain stores and be at certain events. I’ve heard that it’s gotten better since I left in 2013, but I also saw a fair bit of bullying of students who had social/learning issues or just chose a different way of living. Dio can also be a little racially segmented where Asians, Europeans and Pacific Islanders often group together.
Dio’s facilities are fantastic. Whatever you’re interested in, whether it’s specific materials for your art project, obscure chemicals for a science project, or personalised singing lessons, Dio will either be able to provide it, or will be a great help in doing so. The teachers are a mixed bunch, with some superstars and a couple of terrible ones thrown in there. However, the overall standard is strong and there’s a real culture of supporting students to go above and beyond.
What are the best parts about attending Dio? In addition, what are some of the weaknesses (if any).
The biggest benefit I got from Dio are friends who I hope to stay with for life. I was lucky enough to have a group of best friends the entire time I was in highschool (12-18years old) and we’re still best friends at 21. This could be seen as a weakness too as it speaks to some extend about the strengths of cliques at Dio -although I like to think my group was always friendly and welcoming to others!
Hope this helped!